R.A. from Macomb County, Michigan writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our condo is still under the developers control (less then 3 years old and only 50% of the units have been built). The concrete streets are starting to crack due to the heavy machinery traffic that uses our roads. Who is responsible to repair those roads… the HOA using HOA funding or the Developer?
Mister Condo replies:
R.A., great question with a tricky answer. First off, I am not an attorney and offer no legal advice in this column. The period in a condominium association’s life where the developer has control means that defects occurring in the building are largely the developer’s responsibility. However, don’t think the developer will simply write a check and solve the problem. Cracked concrete streets may or may not be the permanent streets for the association and it is possible that the developer has every intention of replacing and fortifying the streets upon the building’s completion. The association needs to bring the defect to the developer’s attention and find out what the plans are. By no means should the association accept responsibility for broken streets before developer transition is complete. As for where the money will come from to repair the roads, keep an eye out to make sure the current owners aren’t footing the bill. If that happens, I strongly recommend the association hire its own attorney (not the developer’s attorney) to make sure it is protected. All the best!